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Slick Bautista leads final practice at Misano

15 September 2012

The Misano weather continued to torment the MotoGP riders during Saturday morning's final free practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix.

Damp and cold conditions on Friday at Misano had seen only 13 of the 21 riders record a lap.

Conditions were slightly worse for Saturday morning, but with set-up time fast running out, FP3 at least saw sustained track action.

For most of the 45-minutes, riders tackled the patchy track with wet tyres - PBM CRT rider James Ellison being the first to fit slicks with ten minutes to go.

The Englishman ran wide and headed straight back to the pits (he was the only rider that didn't technically complete a lap this morning) but that didn't stop the likes of Ducati's Valentino Rossi and Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista fitting slicks shortly after.

It took time to work, but Bautista shot to the top in the last two-minutes, then improved on each of his following laps to finish the session with a time of 1m 42.393s - still a few tenths slower than Karel Abraham's fastest Friday practice time, also set on slicks.

Rossi, circulating just behind Bautista on track, moved up to second (+1.059s) with Ioda's Danilo Petrucci - making his Suter-BMW debut this weekend - snatching a late sixth on slicks and Gresini's Michele Pirro likewise moving to eighth.

Yamaha's world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who like title rival Dani Pedrosa had not completed a single lap on Friday, was the fastest rider on wets with a 1m 45.422s - good enough for third overall this morning (+3.029s).

Pedrosa was one place and 0.698s behind Lorenzo on his Repsol Honda. Like Lorenzo, Pedrosa did not try slicks. Pedrosa's stand-in team-mate Jonathan Rea was 15th, having completed 13 laps - Rossi did the most this morning with 17 laps.

Qualifying takes place this afternoon and is likely to be the first all-dry session of the weekend.

Saturday practice:

1. Alvaro Bautista
2. Valentino Rossi
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Danilo Petrucci
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Michele Pirro
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Cal Crutchlow
12. Ben Spies
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. Karel Abraham
15. Jonathan Rea
16. Colin Edwards
17. Mattia Pasini
18. David Salom
19. Hector Barbera
20. Randy De Puniet


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